Free Advanced Placement courses in calculus, physics and macroeconomics are available on edX, reports Nick Anderson for the Washington Post.
Davidson, a private college in North Carolina, worked with high school teachers and the College Board, which oversees AP, to develop online lessons.
“Perhaps it is best to think of them not as MOOCs, but as massive open online lessons, or MOOLs,” writes Anderson. They’re meant to “supplement live teaching, not replace it.” However, the courses could help a motivated student with a weak teacher — or none at all.
Other MOOCs by edX partner universities target AP biology, computer science and chemistry, writes Anderson.
Philanthropist Steven B. Klinsky, is funding an MIT-Harvard venture to create a MOOC pathway to earning a year of college credit for free.
Nancy Moss, an edX spokeswoman, said some of the high school offerings have drawn 10,000 or more students. “The enrollment has been phenomenal,” she said.
Klinsky envisions “a freshman-year catalog of more than 30 introductory courses from top colleges in an array of subjects as diverse as calculus and Western civilization,” writes Anderson. “The MOOCs would include quizzes, tests and online discussion groups, with texts and other materials provided free online,” and a nonprofit partner could provide mentoring and tutoring.